This Friday marks the second season premiere of The Life & Times of Tim. As such, the people at HBO were kind enough to give us a screener of the first episode, and after watching "Tim's Beard/Unjustly Neglected Drama", I feel comfortable saying that this season has a lot of potential. Now, in case you're new to the show, don't stress about catching up on the older episodes; while Season One had some great moments and I recommend you eventually watch it, Tim is self-contained, allowing you to jump right in tonight. We're not exactly talking about Lost, here.
As we learned last season, Tim (voiced by Steve Dildarian) is a self-conscious guy who lives in New York City, works at a huge corporation, and experiences constant misfortunes (most of which he brings upon himself). In the Season Two premiere, "Tim's Beard" focuses on Tim's difficult breakup with his girlfriend, and in "Unjustly Neglected Drama", we see Tim suffer through a bad play in order to help his friend score drugs. Just like in Season One, the characters are memorable, the jokes are funny, and the plotlines are entertaining. I appreciate the fact that the writers trust their audience and assume our intelligence, best seen through Tim's interactions with his idiot friend, Stu (voiced by the hilarious Nick Kroll). While Tim isn't the best show on television, I think it's a solid, refreshing comedy that doesn't rely on cutaways and fart jokes, which is far more than I can say about a lot of other series.
So, it's obvious that this show pulls a lot of inspiration from Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, mostly in its Squigglevision, celebrity cameos, and comic timing. Still, it feels unfair to compare the relatively new Tim to an extremely successful, cartoon masterpiece like Dr. Katz. Maybe that's the price you pay for using animation rather than live-action in a comedic series. To paraphrase an interview with Matt Stone, "People lump South Park and The Simpsons and any animated program together... which is unfortunate that we have to be compared to one of the best, most popular shows on television ever. We never get compared to Sister, Sister or Small Wonder."
On that note, Tim weirdly reminds me of Everybody Loves Raymond. As it turns out, the shows are connected in three interesting ways; I'll let you be the judge of which theory explains the association best:
1) Jeff Garlin had cameos on both shows.
2) Kelsey Grammer's Hank was written by Raymond's executive producer Tucker Cawley, and co-executive produced by Tim's Mike Clements and Tom Werner.
3) Tim himself sort of sounds like Ray Romano.
Catch The Life & Times of Tim tomorrow night at 9:30 PM on HBO... let's face it, you'll probably be watching the premiere of The Ricky Gervais Show at 9, and this way you won't have to change the channel.
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